Nottingham Post

System crash causes ‘total chaos’ over school offers


- By JOSEPH LOCKER Local democracy reporter

FRUSTRATED parents were unable to confirm primary school places offered to their children after Nottingham­shire’s online system crashed.

Parents and carers in the county must apply for places through Conservati­ve-run Nottingham­shire County Council’s schools admissions portal.

Once places have been offered, they must then be accepted through the system. However, a number of parents were met with an error message when trying to submit their details on Tuesday, leaving them uncertain as to whether their confirmati­on had been accepted.

The council has apologised but says many acceptance­s were processed despite the error message.

Councillor Michelle Welsh, Labour County Councillor for Arnold South and Gedling borough councillor for Porchester, said she was unable to confirm acceptance of her son’s place.

She said: “I have been contacted by a lot of parents unable to accept their school place. Some have received email con- firmation and others haven’t. It is total chaos once again.”

Nottingham­shire County Council said more than 9,000 were accepted on Tuesday morning, but added its software provider was urgently investigat­ing the issue. Councillor Welsh said a similar problem plagued parents on secondary school offer day in March, and parents took to the council’s Facebook comments section to raise their concerns at the time. The portal page had shown an error message which read “save failed”, highlighte­d in red, when a parent attempted to log their offer response. Councillor Welsh added: “When you accept the offer you should get an email confirming the place. So not only is it not working and crashing in my case, but a lot of those 9,000 haven’t received the confirmati­on email.

“It is like buying something online and not getting the confirmati­on email and receipt. It is an utter mess.”

A Nottingham­shire County Council spokespers­on said: “We are aware of an issue that some parents and carers are experienci­ng when accepting their school place and we would like to apologise to anyone affected.

“The council’s software provider is urgently investigat­ing. However, we would like to reassure families that the system itself is working, despite the error message, and we have had more than 9,000 places accepted so far this morning. We are confident that these technical difficulti­es will not affect the school offers and families have until April 30 to accept their place.”

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Michelle Welsh

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